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Summer 2017 devoted to research for four Olivet students

Posted: Apr 25, 2017


Olivet Nazarene University's Pence-Boyce alumni group fosters mentoring of individual students by Olivet faculty in mathematics, science or engineering research.

Four Olivet Nazarene University students and their faculty mentors are already planning how they will spend summer 2017. This year, it’s all about research for them as they pursue intensive research projects funded by grants from the University’s Pence-Boyce Committee. This alumni group fosters mentoring of individual students by Olivet faculty in mathematics, science or engineering research.

Recipients of the 2017 grants are:

Kimberly Zralka and Dr. Derek Rosenberger, Department of Biological Sciences: “The effects of imperiled bur and black oak savanna habitat on red-headed woodpecker (Melanerpes erythrocephalus L.) population density and nest success.” Kimberly is a junior, majoring in zoology, from Frankfort, Illinois. Dr. Rosenberger is a zoology professor.

Jon Zatorski and Dr. Bruce Heyen, Department of Chemistry and Geosciences: Investigating the specificity of malate dehydrogenase in Escherichia coli through the use of an R811 mutant and histidine tag purification. Jon is a senior, majoring in biochemistry, from Crown Point, Indiana. Dr. Heyen is department chair and a chemistry professor.

Joel DeArmond and Dr. Justin Brown, Department of Mathematics: Points on elliptic curves over finite fields; exploring and improving elliptic curve cryptography. Joel is a senior, majoring in actuarial science, from Monroe, Indiana. Dr. Brown is a mathematics professor.

Emily Rull and Dr. Stephen Case ’05, Walker School of Engineering: Using artificial double stars to calibrate a 3D-printed filar micrometer. Emily is a senior engineering major with a concentration in mechanical engineering. She is from Maryville, Illinois. Dr. Case is a professor in the Department of Chemistry and Geosciences.

“We are excited for these students as they engage in cutting edge research in a broad variety of fields,” says Dr. Max Reams, director of the Pence-Boyce Summer Research Program at Olivet. “We thank the faculty members who will be working with them.”

Pence-Boyce grants are sponsored by Olivet alumni who wish to honor two outstanding former faculty members who exemplify integrity, dedication and spirit in pursuit of academic excellence.

Elbert Pence was professor of Physics at Olivet from 1962 to 1969. His extensive experience with the U.S. Navy provided valuable background for his students. His energy and enthusiasm were driving forces in developing the physics major at Olivet. He exemplified excellence in higher education in physics and engineering. Professor Pence passed away in 2016.

Fanny Boyce was professor of Mathematics at Olivet from 1963 to 1970. She came to Olivet after many years of service at Wheaton College. Her high standards and teaching performance served as inspiration to those she taught. Dr. Boyce passed away in 1986.

To learn more about Olivet’s areas of study in the sciences and engineering, contact the Office of Admissions at or 800-648-1463.

Average ACT composite score of last year's incoming freshmen